What must be done after a death?

WHAT DE-REGISTRATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED?

The registry office will take care of these notifications:

  • Austrian Registry Office (Central Registry Office – ZMR)
  • Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions (legal health, pension and accident insurance providers)
  • Citizenship office (for Austrian citizens)
  • Driving license authority
  • Central register of births, deaths and marriages
  • Consular representative in Austria (for non-Austrian citizens)

Surviving relatives must take care of these notifications and de-registrations themselves:

  • Rental agreements: will the heirs be moving into the rental property or do you wish to terminate the contract? *
  • Memberships of associations, organisations, trade unions
  • Bank accounts, money transfer orders or standing payment orders with financial institutions
  • Insurance policies
  • Radio and television licenses, cable, pay-TV
  • Gas and electricity supply, district heating
  • Mail, telecommunications, mobile telephone provider
  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
  • Church fees
  • Vehicle license (de- or re-registration)
  • Gun license, etc.

WHO ELSE MUST BE NOTIFIED?

In addition to the immediate family, who must be notified?

  • Employer or pension provider
  • If relevant, examine funeral allowance and care allowance entitlements (a new application may be necessary)
  • Bank
    • Cancel bank and credit cards or return them to the financial institution
    • Alter or delete money transfer orders or standing payment orders
    • If necessary, open a new banking account for the surviving family member(s)
  • Insurance
    • the following documents will be required in order to claim any insured sums:
    • Death certificate
    • Insurance policy
    • Confirmation of the most recent premium payment
    • Photo ID of the claimant
  • When transferring companies, please contact the appropriate trade authority (at www.help.gv.at)

FINANCIAL ENTITLEMENTS AND INFORMATION REGARDING INHERITANCE

Surviving relatives have these financial entitlements

Under certain circumstances, you may receive a financial allowance from some institutions (health insurance funds, trade unions, associations, etc.). You should check whether you are entitled to any such death benefits. In some cases, victims of crime may also be entitled to an allowance. More details can be obtained from the Federal Social Office via telephone on +43 (0)1 588 31.

You can apply for a widow’s, widower’s or orphan’s allowance from the insurance provider with which you have been primarily insured during the last 15 years.

Tax treatment of funeral contracts

As a burial customer you can lodge a claim retrospectively for burial expenses during probate proceedings (notary). If the available estate is not sufficient, then you can make a tax claim for a specified amount as an abnormal charge.

Interesting facts about succession – probate proceedings

The registry office will notify the probate office when a death occurs. A probate proceeding then begins automatically. The Public Notary will notify the family members. There is no need for you to contact the Public Notary. Of course you may also employ a solicitor to take care of the estate.

As a relative you must, when registering the death, provide the most important details regarding the testator and their property. You should bring these personal documents regarding the deceased to the appointment.

Preparing documents for the probate office

  • Name, address, marital status and date of birth of the next of kind
  • Personal documents (birth certificate and, if relevant, marriage certificate and/or divorce decree)
  • Proof of the deceased’s citizenship
  • Registration certificate of the deceased
  • Final directives/testaments
  • Decree of guardianship
  • Most recent pension statement of the deceased
  • Short list and evidence of the estate
  • List and evidence of any debts as well as expenses relating to the final illness, death and burial

You have the option of sending a representative to deal with the aftermath of the death. The Public Notary will take possession of the current will. After this, the Probate Court will invite the presumed heir to declare their acceptance of inheritance. This determines whether the estate can be handed over or rejected. In the event of a positive declaration of acceptance of the inheritance the estate, the heir must demonstrate their entitlement to the inheritance. If the inheritance is rejected, it can become a case of disputed inheritance under some circumstances if the Public Notary is not able to arrive at an agreement.

(This list makes no claim to be complete and comprehensive)